New Jersey legalized online poker back in 2013 and is one of the three states in America to have regulated online poker. The revenue generated from the online poker market in the Garden State has not come anywhere close to the initial estimates that gaming analysts had earlier predicted and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) has been looking for ways to boost the sluggish industry.
The NJDGE is looking to take advantage of the state gambling laws which allow shared liquidity. New Jersey is expected to partner with the United Kingdom (UK) and share online poker player pools in the near future. The online poker market in the UK is one of the oldest gambling markets in the world and New Jersey accounts for more than ninety percent of legalized gambling in America.
Nevada and Delaware, the other states that have regulated online poker, have already entered into a shared liquidity agreement with each other. Nevada had earlier expressed interest to partner with New Jersey but the proposal has been stalled due to the fact that the only common operator between both states is the 888.com platform, which makes it difficult for New Jersey to convince all the other gaming operators in the state.
Should New Jersey and the UK launched shared online poker liquidity, the common platforms that would benefit from the arrangement include Gamesys, 888.com, Betfair, GVC and PokerStars. Gaming legislators will have quite a few issues to sort out before shared liquidity can be made a reality. Gaming legislators in New Jersey and the UK will have to work through a number of issues including developing specific regulations, deal with geo-location, and player ID issues, and appropriate tax rates that can be applied in both jurisdictions.
In a statement, David Rebuck, NJDGE Director said “With 9 million people in New Jersey, and more than 63 million in the United Kingdom, this would mean a massive increase in liquidity for New Jersey operators. Even when you discount children and non-gamblers, it gives us access to a market that is very familiar with online gaming. That number is one-fifth of the total U.S. population.”
One of the immediate issues that regulators will have to address is that many gambling operators in New Jersey do not offer online poker services and are not allowed to offer online casino games, whereas the UK offers a wide variety of online casino games. The Garden State is discussing the possibility of offering online casino games in the near future.
The NJDGE has already sent out letters to iGaming operators who have platforms in the state and the UK, informing them about the possibility of shared liquidity and has requested operators to suggest a possible system that will allow shared liquidity between the UK and New Jersey.